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Waste Fuelled Plasma Gasification at Four UK Ports

CHO’s demonstration facility in Morcenx, France is expected to be commissioned during 2012. In addition to its electrical output 18MW of hot water generated by the process will power a vegetable greenhouse and a wood fire drier

30 November 2011

CHO Power SAS and Sunrise Renewables are to collaborate on a project that will see four plasma gasification facilities built at UK docks to treat biowaste.

According to the companies the new facilities are to be built at ports in Hull, Barry, Sunderland and Barrow, and combined will deliver some 37.5 MW of electricity to the national grid.

CHO Power SAS is a wholly owned subsidiary of French plasma gasification technology developer, Europlasma, while SunriseRenewables is a UK based group of project developers.

Speaking to Waste Management World, Marc Lefour, head of CHO-Power development, explained that for its part in the partnership, CHO is providing the advanced gasification technology, while Sunrise Renewables is the local project developer.

As part of the role, Sunrise has secured the planning permissions for all the sites and electrical grid connections, and is currently working on finalising long term feedstock supply contracts for the sites.

According to Lefour, the waste wood feedstock that will fuel the facilities will allow them to qualify for double Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROC).


CHO said that its gasification process transforms waste into a very clean syngas using a plasma torch capable of reaching temperatures as hot as the surface of the sun. The Syngas is then cleaned and the tar removed

For the four UK port facilities this syngas will be used to power gas engine generators.

Lefour explained that because the feedstock at these facilities is to be purely biomass such as waste wood, the by product of the gasification process has the potential to be used as an agricultural fertiliser. However this will require approval from the Environment Agency.

“In a first step it can be used as aggregate for civil works, like the ashes from incineration. But here it’s from biomass, it’s pure waste wood, there should be no big issue to use these ashes.”

The company is also currently building a demonstration facility in Morcenx, France that will use its plasma gasification technology to treat 37,000 tonnes of ordinary industrial waste and 15,000 tonnes wood chips each year. The electricity generated is to be sold to EDF.

In addition, CHO’s technology is being deployed at the Enviroparks integrated waste management project in Hirwaun, Wales, which is currently at the RFQ phase.

According to Lefour the UK market holds huge potential for waste gasification technologies, and he expects more projects to follow.

Subject to the funding scheme, the first of these four facilities should be under construction by the second half of 2012

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